August 13, 2022

New pilot scheme is testing the 100:80:100 work week

Companies across the UK will be starting the world’s biggest trial of the four-day work week today, offering full pay for fewer hours on the job.

Thousands of workers will partake in this new experiment which explores a different take on work-life balance with over 3,300 employees taking part across 70 different companies from a range of sectors and industries.

With the pandemic’s work-from-home mantra changing our collective approach to when, where and how we conduct our day-to-day work responsibilities, this new pilot programme – the largest of its kind organised by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with thinktank autonomy, the 4 Day Week Campaign, and academics from Cambridge and Oxford Universities and Boston College – will run for six months in order to gather data.

At its core, the four day work week premise is relatively simple. Participating companies will offer their employees 100 per cent of their pay for 80 per cent of their time at work with the proviso that while they’re on the job, they deliver 100 per cent productivity.

It’s commonly known as the 100:80:100 model and if this study proves sucessful, we could very well hear more about it in the coming years.

The trial has a range of organisations taking part; from a local chippy to Wells-next-the-Sea on the Norfolk coast, to Rivelin Robotics in Sheffield, Charity Bank in Tonbridge, Kent and London inheritance tax specialists Stellar Asset Management. Companies in the housing, skincare and digital marketing industries are also believed to be involved.

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“As we emerge from the pandemic, more and more companies are recognising that the new frontier for competition is quality of life, and that reduced-hour, output-focused working is the vehicle to give them a competitive edge,” explained 4 Day Week Global chief executive Joe O’Connor, highlighting the ways in which our approach to work has changed since lockdown.

As the scheme progresses, researchers will work with those taking part to study a range of factors – including productivity during working hours, the impact on environment and gender equality, and whether it makes a difference to the wellbeing of employees.

Speaking to The Guardian, Boston College academic and lead researcher on the trial, Juliet Schor, described the scheme as “historic”, adding: “We’ll be analysing how employees respond to having an extra day off, in terms of stress and burnout, job and life satisfaction, health, sleep, energy use, travel and many other aspects of life.

“The four-day week is generally considered to be a triple-dividend policy – helping employees, companies, and the climate. Our research efforts will be digging into all of this.”

Four day work week trials are also set to begin in Scotland and Spain later this year.

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